FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME: YOUNG WOMEN, VIDEO GAMING AND MEDIA
Old Dominion University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:A major problem facing young women today is their increased exposure to media that depicts women as sexual objects. These stereotypical images have expanded into new media such as music videos and video gaming. The exposure to stereotypical images of women often manifest in the low self-esteem or poor body image of young women. Video gaming is a major component of contemporary media and is a worldwide phenomenon. This new media has been accused of gender and cultural insensitivity. Computer gamers are largely males but a population of female fans has emerged among the youth. The highly interactive nature of computer games involves the gamer taking on the persona of the character/s. The stereotypical images of these idealized heroines can significantly impact the self-image of these female gamers. This research study measured the exposure of a variety of media and their effect on the self-esteem of college-aged women. Correlations were attempted to determine whether the new media had a greater negative impact on female gamers as opposed to non-female gamers.
Random sampling of female students was conducted using a quantitative research methodology and a cross-sectional survey was used for data collection. The independent variables were television, movies, music, music videos, and video gaming. Descriptive statistics was used in data reporting. Mean scores introduced the esteem factors of appearance, attribution and weight. Higher mean scores equated a higher self-esteem. The results found that participants who had a higher exposure to the new media yielded a lower mean in the esteem factors.
Keywords: Video gaming, gamers, young women, stereotypes, gender roles, self-esteem, self-image, computer games, diversity.